A statement responding to the New York Times article from the Council of Bishops articulates their desire not to “cast blame” on a particular conference. However, the intention to get to the bottom of the matter is also prevalent:
“The Council of Bishops has always worked to help the delegates to do their best work, as the legislative body of the church. This means being a voice for fairness. The Council does not plan, host or oversee the General Conference. We are not casting blame on a region of the world or a part of the body of Christ. In honoring the sacrificial gifts of the delegates to the Special Session, the preparatory work of the Commission on a Way Forward, and the importance of the Special Session’s stated purpose, we do have an absolute and unwavering desire for transparency and the truth in discovering what has taken place in the special session of the General Conference.”
During the General Conference in February, one delegate actually addressed the potential of the vote potentially not being valid due to nefarious activity. On the last day of the General Conference, delegate Carlene Fogle-Miller said there were rumors of delegates being bribed to vote for the Traditional Plan. Fogle-Miller proposed the ethics commission look into the matter. Her motion was passed by a slim margin, however, it was not made clear when the ethics commission would look into such a matter.
Now it seems the New York Times may be doing some of that work for them.
Outspoken opponents to the Traditional Plan, like Pastor Adam Hamilton of Church of the Resurrection in Kansas, have not yet said anything publicly about the New York Times article. Hamilton has indicated he will be speaking to other church leaders who favored the One Church Plan to talk about next steps for churches such as theirs that can’t agree to move forward under the Traditional Plan.
It feels as if the entire denomination is holding its breath in anticipation of a big split, and these concerns of voter irregularities are not helping matters.